Today’s The Australian reports an important (and considered) speech by Bishop on the threat from Islamic extremism. That the heading to the digital version – Julie Bishop likens Islamic State to Adolf Hitler, warns of long struggle – is different to that in published version is of some interest given there is no fascist implication in the published “ISIS warns targets not to tell families of radicalisation” version.
As a Minister generally regarded as “centrist”, the emphasis she gives to the wide extent of the threat is of particular significance because it contrasts with the narrower interpretation portrayed by some spokespersons supposedly described as “conservative” – and is of course way ahead of the mistaken views of Obama on the left.
Bishop has rightly indicated that the response must involve more than military action. And, although she does not identify the problem as originating from versions of the Muslim religion, her statement that “This is a struggle against a malignant idea, a concept, an ideology” recognises the importance of the ideology behind the Islamic movement. It also recognises the importance of rebutting that ideology “and provid[ing] a counter-narrative to the messages of hate and division being spread by violent extremists”. The full text of Bishop’s speech is available here.